NEWARK, NJ - A Union County man surrendered to law enforcement officers today for allegedly defrauding hundreds of sellers of foreign and antique banknotes on the eBay online auction site, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said.
David D’Aries, 49, of Summit, NJ, is charged by complaint with one count of mail fraud. D’Aries is expected to make his initial appearance today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court.
According to the criminal Complaint, from June 2007 through October 2012, D’Aries devised a scheme to defraud individuals from around the world by posing as a buyer interested in purchasing rare and antique foreign banknotes for bid on eBay. D’Aries, as the winning bidder in approximately 400 eBay transactions, made payment for the auctioned item via PayPal or credit card, received the item from the eBay seller via the United States mail or other commercial interstate carrier, and then falsely claimed to various credit card companies that the item was never received from the seller or was an unauthorized charge. D’Aries posed as three different individuals, including his deceased father, in his fraudulent eBay transactions.
Losses to eBay/PayPal and the various eBay sellers as a result of D’Aries’ fraudulent transactions total approximately $122,000. A search of D’Aries’ home by law enforcement on June 30, 2011, revealed several thousand foreign banknotes and 165 pieces of mail from around the world that were addressed to D’Aries and the other identities he allegedly used.
D’Aries faces a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Postal Inspector in Charge Maria L. Kelokates in Newark with the investigation leading to today’s arrest. He also thanked the Summit Police Department and the Union County Prosecutor’s Office for their roles in the case.